- Date published:
9:58 am, September 28th, 2015 - 20 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, bill english, business, capitalism, Economy, Jeremy Corbyn, jobs, john key, Judith Collins, labour, national, paula bennett, phil goff, political alternatives, Politics, same old national, Steven Joyce - Tags: amy adams
Phil Goff is not, as some of you may have noticed, my favourite left-wing politician and only a few days ago I accused him of being silent and invisible in recent times, and especially silent on issues relating to Auckland, for which he is Shadow Minister. I know, I know, he and she are on a panel with Paul Henry about the week in politics, but that is not about us, the electorate who pay them, it is a vehicle for him to jump to Mayoralty of Auckland and her to jump whomever/wherever she is planning to jump. It’s self aggrandizement at its most public… but who is hunting and who is the hunted?
I will concede there is a bright side.
Goff has attempted to throw a fire-cracker into the notion of the National Party leadership and caucus being one big happy family. Is this the Labour Party’s way of sowing seeds of discontent without tainting the image of their leader? It is NOT Dirty Politics by any normal understanding of that term as captured in the book of the same name. Is this Goff’s role now? To box from the shadows?
Goff says of Collins’ column and behaviour since being kicked out of Cabinet;
Judith’s column this week is the opening shot in her campaign to succeed John Key as National’s leader.
Her unlikely praise for Jeremy Corbyn being “a breath of fresh air” and fearless in expressing an opinion is about positioning herself to replace Key.
It’s a not-so-subtle attack on the well-known fact that John Key is not driven by strong values but rather the results of weekly polling and focus groups.
Judith is inviting you to contrast Key’s soft positions with her post-demotion outspokenness on issues.
That Collins’ wants us to believe she has not acted in recent years contrary to the Cabinet Manual beggars belief;
Conduct of Ministers
The Cabinet Manual provides in rule 2.50 that to protect the integrity of the decision-making process of executive government and to maintain public trust in the Executive, Ministers must conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to their office.
The Cabinet Manual is also a creature of politics, conventions, and reality, and as such, it recognises that a Minister holding a ministerial warrant acts in a number of different capacities:
- in a ministerial capacity;
- in a political capacity as a member of Parliament; and
- in a personal capacity.
Regardless of which capacity they are acting in, rule 2.53 requires that in all these roles and at all times, Ministers behave in a way that upholds, and is seen to uphold, the highest ethical standards. The meaning of “highest ethical standards” is a matter for the Prime Minister as ultimately Ministers are accountable to the Prime Minister for their behaviour.
Her objection may be that her Prime Minister has not applied the Manual consistently, but she should attack that, and make the comparison’s with others who have escaped such demotion, not rely on some bizarre notion that she upheld the highest ethical standards of her office, including in a personal capacity.
If New Zealanders continue to want “leaders” that lie and mislead but appear to be running a good business, then she may be the perfect answer to John Key. It’s the lies and misleading which MAKES it seem as though a good business is being run, and therein lies the problem.
Maybe Goff is precisely the right man to run the offensive, by pointing out over and over and over again that the Emperor has no clothes. In this analogy the Economy is the Emperor. Use facts and figures and begin to debunk or at least call into question the failings of our economy. PLay the facts not the personalities. If enough people begin to see the economy is not great and Key and English and Joyce are not economic masterminds, then there is no reason for New Zealanders to put up with the lies. If the economy is not great, if Key and English are not economic wizards, then all they are delivering is lies and deceptive groupings of words. Kiwis will find it much harder to rationalise the lies, the flip-flops, the double speak, the no-speak and the misleading statements if it is for nothing.
So maybe, Goff is the man for the job?